Neighbourhood - Buildings

Mary Queen of the World Cathedral



History

The fire of 1852 ravaged the Saint-Jacques-le-Majeur Cathedral in the Latin Quarter. Bishop Monsignor Ignace Bourget decided it should be rebuilt in what was then the suburbs of Montreal. While some questioned this decision, he chose this location to ensure a Catholic presence in the west end, which was largely anglophone and Protestant.

Begun in 1870, construction of the cathedral - a scale model of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome - was interrupted in 1878 due to the financial crisis and Bourget's resignation as bishop of Montreal. It continued in 1885 and was completed in 1894. The statues along the roof were added a few years later.

In 1919, the cathedral was designated a Minor Basilica and, in 1955, it was renamed Mary, Queen of the World (Marie-Reine-du-Monde). Now located in the heart of downtown, this remarkable church is the seat of the archdiocese of Montreal.

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Excavations on St.James Street
May 28, 1870
© Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec,#30, © Héritage Montréal

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Montreal from Windsor Hotel looking east, QC, about 1878
Wm. Notman & Son
Circa 1878
25 cm x 20 cm
© McCord Museum, © Héritage Montréal

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Mary Queen of the World Cathedral (benediction of the first stone)
1870
© Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, Albums de rues E.-Z. Massicotte – MAS 2-80a-a, © Héritage Montréal

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Cathedral of Mary Queen of the World

13.9 cm x 9 cm
© Dinu Bumbaru, © Héritage Montréal

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Young Men's Christian Association, Y.M.C.A.

13.7 cm x 8.7 cm
© Dinu Bumbaru, © Héritage Montréal

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Mary Queen of the World Cathedral in 1936
1936
17.7 cm x 12.7 cm
© Ville de Montréal, Gestion de documents et archives (Z-175), © Héritage Montréal

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View of Dorchester Square, the Y.M.C.A building and Mary Queen of the World Cathedral

© Sun Life Financial, © Héritage Montréal

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View of Windsor Station, offices and Mary Queen of the World Cathedral

© Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, Albums de rues E.-Z. Massicotte – MAS 2-85-d, © Héritage Montréal

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Mary Queen of the World Cathedral (formerly St-James Cathedral)

© Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, Albums de rues E.-Z. Massicotte – MAS 2-81a-f, © Héritage Montréal

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Print of a gouache study titled Cathédrale Marie-Reine-du-Monde, Frédéric Back
1948
TOUTE REPRODUCTION INTERDITE/ ALL REPRODUCTIONS PROHIBITED© Atelier Frédéric Back inc., www.fredericback.com, © Héritage Montréal